World Hundreds protest in Sudan's capital against government
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Hundreds of Sudanese protesters took to the streets Saturday demanding the dissolution of the transitional government, saying it had failed them economically and politically.
The protests came as Sudan's political scene reels from divisions among factions steering the country through a rocky transition following the April 2019 ouster of president Omar al-Bashir after mass protests against his rule.
Saturday's demonstrations were organised by a splinter faction of the Forces for Freedom and Change, a civilian alliance which spearheaded the anti-Bashir protests and became a key plank of the transition.
Rival Sudan camps take to streets as tensions rise
Tens of thousands of supporters of Sudan's transition to a civilian-led democracy took to the streets Thursday, as rival demonstrators kept up a sit-in demanding a return to military rule. Both sides appealed to their supporters to keep apart and refrain from any violence, but there was a heavy police and troop presence around potential flashpoints. The two sides represent opposing factions of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), the civilian umbrella group which spearheaded the nationwide demonstrations that led to the army's overthrow of longtime president Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
"We need a military government, the current government has failed to bring us justice and equality," said Abboud Ahmed, a 50-year-old protester near the presidential palace in central Khartoum.
Critics of Saturday's protests alleged that the demonstrations were driven by members of the military and security forces, and involve sympathisers with the former regime.
Protesters carried banners calling for the "dissolution of the government", while others chanted "one army, one people" and "the army will bring us bread."
"We are marching in a peaceful protest and we want a military government," said housewife Enaam Mohamed in central Khartoum.
On Friday, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok warned that the transition is facing "the worst and most dangerous" crisis.
Support for the transitional government has waned in recent months mainly following a tough raft of IMF-backed economic reforms.
It slashed subsidies on petrol and diesel and brought in a managed currency float, measures deemed by ordinary Sudanese as excessively harsh.
The government has also been beset by protests in east Sudan where demonstrators have blocked trade through a crucial Red Sea port since mid-September.
On September 21, the government said it thwarted a coup attempt which it blamed on military officials and civilians linked to Bashir's regime.
Protests erupt across Sudan against military coup .
Tensions came to a critical point on Monday when armed forces detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Cabinet Affairs Minister Khalid Omer Yousif and other top civilian leaders. Related: After the revolution, a secular Sudan?“We still don’t know any news about the whereabouts of the prime minister, his wife, five of the ministers and a number of political leaders who were arrested in the early hours of this morning,” said Yousif’s adviser, Abdelmoniem el-Jack, over the phone from Khartoum.